The bottom of the sea can be a long way down, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t swim underwater, if you’re so inclined.
If the water is shallow, you might be able to grab a handful of sand, at least.
But for most swimmers, if the depth is more than a couple of meters, that’ll be out of the question.
In the relatively lake-like (in good weather) Adriatic, where we had our boat until we sold it recently, the seabed was only eight to ten metres below our toes.
But we could never see it, even if we dived from the boat, angling ourselves as vertically as possible in an attempt to catch a glimpse of at least something.
All there was to look at was blue, getting gradually darker. And passing swarms of umbrella-sized jelly fish, in hues of yellow and mauve.
No matter – swimming underwater can be fun anyway.
Who says you have to go all the way down?
Splash about, grab your kids’ legs, pretend to be Jaws.
This is a metaphor, of course. For ‘understanding’, when listening to a foreign language.
Often people think it’s one thing, one destination, one achievement. They assume it’s something that others can manage but they can’t.
But no. Like the sea floor, ‘understanding’ can be a long way off, not just for beginners, but for most of us, at least some of the time.
I have bilingual kids (English/Italian), aged from eighteen to twenty-three. When they’re talking to their mother or to each other in Italian, for example at the dinner table, it’s not uncommon that I have little idea what’s being said.
Compared to my wife and I, they talk about different things, different people, and in different ways. The content and manner of their conversations, unless something is directed at me, is unfamiliar. And so the details often remain obscure.
Not ‘no idea’, though. The bottom of the sea might be beyond me, but I can usually get an inkling.
‘Understanding’ in your foreign language is a spectrum. You might be nearer to one end of it than to the other, or you might be lost in the middle somewhere.
But that’s true even in your native tongue. Who understands what lawyers are saying, for instance?
Think about it.
And when you have, modify your expectations of yourself.
Splash about, have fun!
Don’t forget to take a look at this week’s new Italian easy reader ebook, I racconti di Canterbury, the first in a series of simplified versions of world literature classics.
Don’t forget, either, that we’ve discounted our six Italian literature easy readers, for those who disdain reading anything in Italian that originated in English.
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at intermediate level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
This first week, ‘I racconti di Canterbury‘ is 25% discounted, so just £5.99 instead of £7.99.
Check out the FREE sample chapter (.pdf) so you’ll know whether the level is suitable, and that the format works on your device.
15% Off ‘easy reader’ Italian Literature ebooks!
Once you’ve added ‘I racconti di Canterbury‘ to your shopping cart, why not pop in a few of these other titles, so saving £1.20 on the usual ‘easy reader’ price of £7.99?
This week they’re just £6.79 each.
Le avventure di Pinocchio (A1/2) £6.79 Download FREE sample (.pdf, .epub, .mobi/Kindle)
I Malavoglia (B1) £6.79 Download FREE sample (.pdf, .epub, .mobi/Kindle)
La coscienza di Zeno (B1) £6.79 Download FREE sample (.pdf, .epub, .mobi/Kindle)
I promessi sposi (B1/2) £6.79 Download FREE sample (.pdf, .epub, .mobi/Kindle)
Decameron (B1/2) £6.79 Download FREE sample (.pdf, .epub, .mobi/Kindle)
Uno, nessuno e centomila (B2) £6.79 Download FREE sample (.pdf, .epub, .mobi/Kindle)
Tuesday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news is waiting for you to read/listen to (for free!)
Subscribing has no cost, either. Subscribers receive three bulletins of ‘easy’ news (text plus online audio) directly in their email inboxes each week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.